Raleigh, Wake County Three-Strikes Attorney

North Carolina is one of 28 states that has an active “three strikes” law. This piece of legislation was first enacted in 1994. Pulling the term from a baseball rule, a three strikes law dictates that a person who has been convicted of two serious and violent felony crimes in the past will be subject to a sentence of 25 years to life if he or she is found guilty of a 3rd felony. The theory is that repeat violent offenders should lose the right to be a part of society, and they should be locked away for significant periods of time for the greater good of the population. A three strikes law may also be referred to as “habitual offender” law.

Despite its effectiveness, three strikes laws have sparked some controversy due to the fact that, in some cases:

  • The 3rd felony may not be a violent crime, meaning that people have been sentenced to life in prison even in cases when the 3rd felony conviction was for a non-violent crime, such as shoplifting. In fact, a 2004 study led by Vincent Shiraldi and Geri Silva reported that approximately 65 percent third-strike convicts had committed a non-violent crime as their third offense.
  • This law is overburdening the prison system.

If you or a loved one is facing your “third strike” it is important that you hire an aggressive and knowledgeable defense attorney who completely understands the criminal justice system in North Carolina. Don’t take chances with your future, contact Raleigh criminal defense attorney Curtis R. High as soon as possible.

Three Strikes Law & Legislation in Raleigh, NC

One study conducted by Radha Iyengar in California in 2008 found that convicts with two strikes against them are about 28 percent less likely to commit a third felony crime that could land them in jail for life. However, those who choose to commit a third felony crime are approximately 20 percent more likely to commit a serious violent crime, as they will face life sentences regardless of whether the crime is violent.

Interestingly, the full impact of the three-strikes law in North Carolina, as well as in other states, has still not been felt – as experts have pointed out that the elderly population in the prison system is expected to boom in the coming years, a fact that will seriously weigh on the state’s budget. Consequently, some are theorizing that, to relieve this financial pressure, it will be necessary for:

  • The elderly to be kept in a particular location, such as a converted mental hospital
  • The governor to pardon more offenders
  • The courts to look at the “gray” area in certain cases and be more discerning about doling out life sentences
  • The legislature to revise the law to allow judges more leeway in the sentencing phase of a third-strike convict

If you are facing your third strike, you will be taking chances with your freedom if you do not hire an experienced lawyer to build you a thorough defense. To speak with an experienced and highly skilled Wake County Three-Strikes attorney, call Mr. High today.